Imagine going through every day feeling completely exhausted. New parents or those who have experienced sleep deprivation may be able to relate, but these individuals can trace their exhaustion to an actual lack of sleep. For individuals who suffer from an illness known as chronic fatigue syndrome, their feelings of extreme fatigue are often inexplicable and disruptive to their daily lives.
There is no known cure for CFS. While some medical researchers think the illness may be linked to immune deficiencies or a virus, there is no definitive known cause. In fact, many within both the medical and civilian community often view individuals who claim to suffer from CFS with skepticism, believing their problems with exhaustion stem from mental or emotional problems.
For these reasons, a formal diagnosis of CFS is often delayed and disputed and those who suffer are left without resources or help. For individuals with CFS, information gleaned from a new study may be useful in determining more effective and individualized treatment plans.
The study, which was conducted by university researchers in the United Kingdom, reviewed results from 641 CFS patients. The patients were divided into groups and provided with a variety of treatment options. The results of the study indicate that those individuals who received cognitive behavioral therapy and specialized medical care along with some sort of exercise therapy experienced the most favorable results with regard to a decrease in fatigue.
Individuals who suffer from CFS may qualify to receive social security disability benefits. For these individuals, many of whom are unable to work, disability benefits provide a much-needed financial resource. Research such as the study described here is important and will hopefully be used to develop more effective treatment options for individuals living with CFS.
Source: The Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra, "Therapies 'moderately improve' CFS," July 11, 2013